The IWGP World Heavyweight Champion offered an open challenge for his title at the cross-promotional event. This was swiftly answered by Jungle Boy, and the title match was quickly made official.
This was a disappointment to many. Considering last year’s title defense had big stars like Kazuchika Okada and Adam Page competing, having a mid-carder like Jungle Boy has been a let-down for many fans.
It also makes SANADA look worse as the champion. Giving him a mid-card match for his title defense makes his reign as champion look much worse than the likes of Okada and White.
SANADA agrees with the disappointment of Jungle Boy challenging for his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
In an interview with Tokyo Sport, SANADA claimed to have “no knowledge of Jack Perry”, completely burying what is supposed to be one of AEW’s top young stars.
He also called it “sad to see someone like that challenge for the IWGP”, hoping that a bigger star would have answered his call.
The Japanese star also claimed that his title was “worth more” than MJF’s AEW Championship, a claim which you could rightly make, given the incredible history of the belt.
Speaking with Tokyo Sport, SANADA said about Jungle Boy;
“I have no knowledge of Jack Perry. It’s sad to see someone like that challenge for the IWGP. Is an open challenge really that easy to decide? It’s the IWGP, I think it’s worth more than the AEW Championship.”
SANADA will defend his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against Jungle Boy (with Hook at ringside) at Forbidden Door 2023.
SANADA also spoke about some of his G1 Climax opponents, singling out Kaito Kiyomiya and Yota Tsuji in particular.
“Kiyomiya has a lot of momentum, but I didn’t get any information, so in the end. First of all, the only other domestic group is shorthanded.” SANADA said.
“I wonder if Tsuji is the most missing among them. However, I feel that the title match with me was the peak. After everyone came back from overseas, it was stable, in a bad way. I don’t think I can beat my current momentum,”
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.